Hello Weary Internet Traveler,
This guide to port forwarding is probably the best thing you can do for yourself and all your buddies that are bunkered down in their living rooms playing a round of some kick-ass game with you, port forwarding is a step within any persons hosting needs and it essentially opens up your router so your servers can respond to your friends connections. This is an essential and easy skill, just flip right through the next steps and you will be on your way to a new and easier future for you and your gamer friends. I mean, who doesn't want to be the only nerd in the group who knows how to host?
Step 1: Finding your Routers IPv4 address.
1. Click the Windows button on your computers keyboard located in between Crtl + Alt.
2. Type CMD into the search bar and hit enter.
3. Type IPconfig into CMD.
4. Find the IPv4 Adress.
5. Revel in your glory.
Simple right?!?!? Who knew server hosting was this easy?!?!?
Step 2: Logging into your router.
1. Open the browser of your choice, I like firefox but some would say google chrome is better, the real message is just don't use Internet Explorer.
2. Insert your IPv4 adress into the URL bar.
3. When asked what the Username and Password for your router are, DON'T PANIC. If you have never set these options for your router chances are the username is admin and the password is well.... password. I would advise changing them as these particular choices are not the most secure, but that's not what this tutorials all about!
Step 3: Finding the Port Fowarding Tab in your routers interface.
(This is where the tutorial gets more personalized, I will give the tutorial for this step from my routers model which is the NETGEARr6300)
1. On the Advanced tab on the NETGEAR interface you will find a ADVANCED Home Navigation Box on the left of the router's page
2. Click on Advanced Setup
3. Click on Port Forwarding/Port Triggering
4. Almost done! Feel free to take a break and get a drink of water or something of the sort.
Step 4: Opening the Specific Ports for your Games
1. Click Add Custom Service underneath the Port Forwarding/Port Triggering list.
2. Top Arrow: Can be anything, just label it for the game you are playing or the project you are forwarding for
3. Second Arrow: The next 3 fillable boxes are all about game ports. These can easily be found with a google search but I will also try to compile as many of them as I can in the final step (Hopefully step 5)
4. Third Arrow: This arrow should be the same as the IPv4 from step one, if you can't remember what your IPv4 address is just go back to step one.
5. Click Apply
Step 5: Additional Information
At this point in time your server should be able to have your friends connect to it, simply give them your IP (can be found here: /http://www.whatsmyip.org/ ).
Important: Each game usually will have a different port that must be opened for the server to run correctly. Here is a list I could find, any others you might be looking for that I miss can be found with a quick Google search.
Security Info: A lot of people question whether or not this will make your computer/network more susceptible to an attack by a hacker or simply someone wishing to do you harm. The general rule is do not port-forward anything below the number 1024. These are system ports and are likely to be what a cracker (hacker) will use to break into your computer. For example, 445 is Windows File Sharing, 80 is web servers, 25 is email. Anything over 1024 up to 65536 isn't assigned to a system service and can be considered safe/safer to use. These ports are also only open when the game/server is running on your network, this does not grant an open door for hackers 100% of the time nor is it truly and open door. Most routers have firewalls built into them and almost all computers do, so I wouldn't worry about the likelihood of an attack on your network. Just try not to give your IP out to too many people you may not know or trust.